Recent Reads: The Emily St. John Mandel edition

I’d planned for my recent reads to be a regular feature and then I realized I’ve left it too long, and read far too many books in the time since the last update and I can’t include them all in one post, so if I can stop being so disorganised, you’ll have a few book posts coming your way soon.
But first up, I am going to tackle this collection all at once because, it just sort of make sense to do them all together I think as they are all by the same author, Emily St John Mandel. 
Station Eleven – I downloaded Station Eleven after reading a tweet saying it was amazing (I forget who the tweet was from, sorry, but thank you if it was you) and I was in a moment without a book on the go. From the start I fell in love with the writing style and was lucky enough to be faced with a snowy Sunday of no plans in which to read it.
The story is set in a post apocalyptic world where the majority of people have been wiped out by ‘Georgian Flu’, and flashes back the days before the start of the flu (our time I guess). The ‘in our day story’ focus’ on the life of a famous actor, Arthur Leander, who dies on stage the night before the flu strikes. The Flash forwards to the post flu world focus on the people who had known him whilst he was alive, with the majority of the story focusing on Kristin, a young woman in a travelling theatre, who had been a child on the stage when Arthur died. We follow the travelling theatre as they make their way through a world full of pockets of people all trying to survive in a world without fuel or electricity, televisions, internet or phones. The thing I thought was interesting, as someone who watches TWD weekly, is the fact that there are no zombies, or threats beyond the other people in the world. And the fact it almost felt like it could be possible. Like maybe, one day, this could all happen.
As I mentioned, I loved the book, I loved the idea, the style of writing, and the cover tb so when it came to holiday reading and finding books that related to the places we were visiting, I knew I had to download another of her books.

Last Night in Montreal – This book is so very different to Station Eleven, but I found it just as gripping and easy to read. Its more of a mystery book. I read it on the train journey to Montreal from Toronto, and I was so disappointed when it finished. I wanted the story to carry on. I wanted to keep reading in this world.

The story focuses on Lilia who has been travelling since she was ‘abducted’ by her father as a child, her boyfriend Eli, whom she has just left without any explanation as to why, a private detective Christopher who has spent his life looking for Lilia, and Christopher’s daughter Michaela who has been influenced by Lilia’s going missing since her childhood.
The story follows Eli, who has followed Lilia to Montreal to find out why she left so abruptly, but as it does we also see what happened in Leila’s life to have meant her and her father were on the road so much, and how Christopher and his daughter lives have been changed due to their involvement, and obsession with Lilia.

I guess as I’d got two of the books, Amazon offered me a deal to buy the other two in the series in a package, and I figured as I still had 10 days of holiday left, I’d go for it! 

The Singers Gun

I think was my least favourite of the four books, I’m just not sure I identified with any of the characters, but it didn’t put me off reading to the end. 
The story follows Anton, who has crafted himself a careful ‘normal’ existence to distance himself from the life he grew up in – one full of dodgy deals and crime with his parents and his cousin Aria. Unfortunately, between his cousin wanting him to help with one last ‘deal’ in Italy, his career falling apart around him after a routine security check, and an investigator looking into his past Anton’s life isn’t going as he had planned.  
The Lola Quartet follows the life of Gavin, a reporter in New York who’s life starts to fall apart after seeing a photo of a little girl who looks identical to his sister as a child, and shares the surname of his high school girlfriend. As his life unravels, it forces him to face some home truths from his youth and reunites him with his school band, The Lola Quartet who are all inexplicably involved in Anna’s disappearance in one way or another. 
I really enjoyed the twists in the book – if they were a little predictable at time, but it was easy to read and kept me interested until the end. Although saying that, the end did disappoint me a little bit, but if you read it, you’ll have to let me know what you think…..
Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think of them? Or are they on your reading list? And, now, after reading all the books I had left on my Kindle, I am out of reading material so give me your suggestions on what I should be reading next……. 

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